The problem, in short, may not be institutions, networks, or the Internet. The problem might be capitalism — or, if that sounds too radical, then perhaps the problem is the libertarian ethos that is also embedded in the Silicon Valley roots of the future of news consensus, an ethos which often renders it incapable of seeing any value to institutions at all. If the problem with journalism, in addition to its hidebound structures of power and its arrogant professionals, is that it has been a free-rider on a non-functional informational marketplace, then the collapse of structures designed to insulate it from the market is an unalloyed good. This is what I think many of those working on the edges of the future of news space seem to believe.

If, on the other hand, you think that the free market (historically, and also in its most brutal current form) has been a problem for journalism rather than a boon, then you might wince in horror to see one of the last barriers to that market collapse in a cloud of digital dust.

Read it all. Read all three of these pieces, while you’re at it.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.